AMES-Since its inception more than a decade ago, Iowa's 511 traveler information website has continued its transformation to better meet motorists' needs.
The full-featured site, found at www.511ia.org , works best with broadband Internet access. This version of Iowa's 511 information can be customized in several ways by turning on or off layers of information, or by personalizing and saving route information using the "My Reports" feature.
Layers that can be viewed or hidden include:
Current winter road condition reports.
Reports of closures, blockages or crashes.
Other reports, including traffic delays, lane closures or roadwork.
Traffic speeds and streaming video cameras in metro areas.
A new feature allows anyone accessing the full-feature site to see messages currently presented on the Iowa DOT's electronic message boards and views from the many streaming video cameras positioned in metropolitan areas of the state.
The Iowa DOT is also offering "My Reports" to allow even more personalization of the 511 experience by pinpointing traffic reports and road conditions relevant to highways the user selects. With "My Reports," you can quickly see roadwork, crashes or other traffic reports that could impact your daily commute, a trip to the grocery store or any other routes you select.
"My Reports" lets you:
View current traffic reports that affect the selected routes.
Get driving directions and estimated travel time.
Save up to 20 routes for easy future reference.
Using "My Reports" is simple. On the full-feature website , click on the "Show List Views" button above the map legend, then enter the beginning and ending route locations you want to travel. If you prefer, you can right-click on the map to choose your locations. "My Reports" will generate a customized report for your chosen route, including traffic reports impacting your route, driving directions and estimated travel time.
For those people accessing www.511ia.org using dial-up or another low-bandwith connection, the "Streamlined" version of the website has all the critical information necessary to make safer travel decisions, but is not customizable.
The website's mobile version allows smart phone access to basic 511 information on the go.
More information on these features and other information regarding Iowa's 511 system can be found at www.iowadot.gov/511/questions_answers.html .